Friday, January 31, 2014

Pre Game: Isles @ Rangers

photo by lundbergme

Tonight, for the final time this season, our Islanders do battle against the rival Rangers.  Thus far, the season series between these two teams has been split at two so tonight will be the deciding game.

The goalie match up tonight features Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, Henrik Lundqvist will get the start in net for the Rangers.

The Islanders lineup will be the same as it was for Wednesdays loss to the Rangers at Yankee Stadium.  That means the healthy scratches for the Islanders tonight will be Radek Martinek, Matt Carkner, and Eric Boulton.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Will The Islanders Go The Extra Mile For Vanek?

According to Darren Dreger from TSN, it appears as though the Islanders will indeed go that extra mile for Vanek.

He spoke to Garth Snow at Yankee Stadium recently and was told that we feel like we would be able to match or beat any offer Vanek is presented with.

Given the fact the roster freeze for the Olympics starts in around a week, I get a sense that we will be getting a decision on Vanek soon.  I personally feel as though actions speak louder then words when it comes to this.  Having Snow say this though is interesting because it appears as though there has been a change in philosophy and they might be willing to actually spend above the cap floor.

Cee Lo Green Flips Off Fans Last Night

photo by NYMag

Last night, for the Islanders game at Yankee Stadium star singer Cee Lo Green performed.  To say that he didn't get a good ovation would be being very kind.

Throughout the entire night pretty much Green would get booed by the fans.  Considering the fact that he really trash talked the "home" team the boos should be expected.

Although, he tweeted at one point that he was having a blast at the game, it appears that the fans disdain for him got to him.

Was Last Night Really An Islanders Home Game?

Last night our Islanders played host to and were defeated by their rivals the Rangers.

With the Islanders being scheduled as the home team you would think they would cater more to Islanders fans then Rangers fans.  Well, you would be incorrect.

Firstly, going through the concourse at the merchandise stands the stands had predominately Rangers merchandise.  I know the Rangers played two games there and the Islanders only played one but you would think they would load up on merchandise for the "home" team.

Secondly, during his performance Cee Lo Green was really talking highly of the Rangers and talking badly about the Islanders.  If this was really an Islanders home game, wouldn't the performer before said game talk up the home team rather then trash talk them like Green did?

The NHL did a lot right here, however this was one thing they did wrong.  Beyond having Coliseum organist Paul Cartier there who was excellent as usual this was a Rangers home game.  If that is what the NHL wanted then they should've sucked up the financial commitment and scheduled the games as Ranger home games.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Vanek's Agent: "We're Not There Yet"

According to Arthur Staple, he was told by Steve Bartlett who is the agent for Thomas Vanek that they aren't there yet on the topic of signing with the Islanders or going to July 1st.  One of Staple's recent articles suggested that a decision on him would be forthcoming so I would expect us to know his fate by the time we break for the Olympics.

I have been saying this for a while now but it would a terrible loss if the Islanders were unable to sign Vanek.  Vanek is the exact kind of player the Islanders have huge issues getting to come here over the summer so if we lose him we will likely not get another player like him for a while.  We have plenty of cap space so as long as Vanek wants to stay here there be no reason for him to not get resigned in my mind at least.

Pre Game: Rangers Vs Islanders @ Yankee Stadium

photo by NYTimes

Tonight is the night we have been waiting for since this game was announced during last years lockout shortened season.  Tonight, our Islanders go head to head with the rival Rangers at Yankee Stadium as the New York branch of the NHL Stadium Series concludes.  If you will be joining me and many others at the Stadium tonight, make sure to bundle up as it is reportedly going to feel like between 6 and 10 degrees when the puck drops tonight.

The goalie match up tonight features Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers.  Meanwhile, it appears that Evgeni Nabokov will make his first start for the Islanders coming back from injury tonight.

The Rangers will be icing the same lineup they did in Sundays victory over the Devils.

The Islanders lineup as of now is unknown.  I wouldn't be shocked to see Matt Donovan in the lineup tonight.

Vanek Named Team Austria Captain

Yesterday, Islanders forward Thomas Vanek was named captain of Team Austria for the upcoming Olympic games in Sochi.

Since being acquired from Buffalo by the Islanders in late October Vanek has gone on to put up 38 points in 39 games.  Not only that though, since being acquired, Vanek along with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo have formed one of the most productive lines in the entire NHL.

Congrats to Vanek on this great honor and best of luck to him in Sochi.

Isles Move Hamonic To IR

Yesterday, the Islanders moved Travis Hamonic to IR.  With the move, the Islanders recalled Matt Donovan from Bridgeport less then 24 hours after sending him down.

This is very unfortunate as it seemed as though Hamonic was on the road back.  Hopefully, for both the Islanders and Hamonic he is able to return before the season ends.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

NHL May Reconsider Sending Players To Sochi

photo by findlogo

According to reports, the NHL may re-consider sending players to Sochi if something significant happens before February 9th.

A couple of players have already told their families to not join them for the Olympics because of security concerns.  One report states that this year will feature the biggest security force ever for an Olympics with over 50,000 police and soldiers.

Isles Fail To Show Up In 6-3 Loss To Bruins

Tonight, our Islanders fell to the Bruins by a score of 6-3.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Like has been the case many times this season, the defense wasn't there tonight.  I can think on the top of my head three instances where defensemen not playing defense resulted in a goal for Boston.  The most obvious one was Matt Carkner doing his best statue of liberty impression watching the play while a Bruins forward came down right behind him and finished off a pass from the point.

-Poulin wasn't all that good either.  I mean it is tough to fault him with the way the defense played.  However, on the fourth goal for example he went down way to early and gave the Bruins forward the entire top of the net to shoot at which he did.

-Good to see Grabner put one on the board after going quiet for a few games in a row.

-Great game by Okposo!  He was one of the few guys who came ready to play tonight.

There were times tonight sitting there in my seat that I started to get confused.  I started wondering if I was supposed to be watching a hockey game or a Boston Bruins practice because at times it was like the Islanders weren't even there.  For a team that is supposed to be fighting for their lives they sure didn't seem like it tonight.

Next Game: Wednesday @ Yankee Stadium VS the Rangers

Monday, January 27, 2014

Pre Game: Bruins @ Islanders

Tonight, our Islanders play host to the Boston Bruins as their three game home-stand concludes.

The goalie match up tonight features Chad Johnson for the Bruins and Kevin Poulin for the Islanders.  Evgeni Nabokov was activated off IR this morning and will serve as Poulin's backup tonight.

The Islanders lineup will see one huge addition tonight as Lubomir Visnovsky will play his first game tonight since October 19th.  Visnovsky will also return to his post atop the Islanders first line power play.  To make room for Nabokov and Visnovsky both Matt Donovan and Anders Nilsson were sent down.

Cee Lo Green To Perform On Wednesday

photo by billboard

According to reports, Cee Lo Green will be the musical act performing at the Islanders Rangers game at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.

Green is noted for hit songs such as Crazy & Forget You.  Over the last few years he has been featured as a judge on the NBC show The Voice.

It is possible that there will be a second musical act. However, I have yet to hear anything confirmed regarding that.

Strome Attacked At The End of Bridgeport's Game Today

Near the conclusion of today's 6-5 win by the Sound Tigers, star prospect Ryan Strome was attacked by one of the Syracuse Crunch players.  The Crunch are the AHL affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Following a goal by John Persson which gave him a hat-trick, the teams came together at the bench and one of the Syracuse players took it upon himself to attack Strome and after doing so he was joined by a teammate of his as you will see on the video.

Just minutes before this, Anders Lee also got into a fight which resulted in him being ejected from the game.

After something like this, I wonder what the next game between these two teams will be like.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Was Thomas Vanek Proven Right Today?

During the second period of today's Rangers Devils game from Yankee Stadium, Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello scored a goal off his skate.

Normally I wouldn't raise an objection to it, however, there was movement with Zuccarello's skate on the goal and after yesterday's fiasco with Thomas Vanek this should've at least been reviewed.

An argument could be made that the fact it wasn't reviewed gives credence to the theory put out there by Thomas Vanek yesterday afternoon about a double standard being in place in the NHL.

Now, I think Zuccarello's goal should've counted like it did.  But after yesterday I don't understand how in the world it didn't at least get reviewed.

Isles Have Approval To Wear The Stadium Series Jersey Twice

According to Chris Botta, the Islanders have gotten approval to wear the Stadium Series jersey at the Coliseum.
My feelings on the jersey haven't changed much.  I think it is a pretty nice jersey, although the logo on the font I still find odd like someone started constructing the logo and didn't finish it.

Is the Black Jersey Era Over?

photo by amazon

During yesterday's broadcast Howie Rose gave the hint that yesterday's game would be the end of the road for the Islanders mostly hated black third jersey.

It was speculated a couple weeks ago that at some point the Islanders Stadium Series jersey would take over the role of the black jersey so this would fit the timeline with the Stadium Series game in just a few days.

Hamonic/Visnovsky/Nabokov Could Be Back Next Week

photo by Newsday

According to Newsday, injured Islanders Evgeni Nabokov, Travis Hamonic, and Lubomir Visnovsky could all return to the lineup at some point this upcoming week.

Visnovsky has been out the longest of the three with today being the 46th game he has missed.  Arthur Staple reports that there is a chance that he will be taken off IR and be in the lineup for Monday's game at home against the Bruins.

Nabokov who has been out since January 6th could make his first start on Wednesday outside at Yankee Stadium.  Although, given his age and issues with hips and hamstrings this year, having him comeback in a game played in way below freezing temperatures may not be the best idea.

Then there is Travis Hamonic who has been out the least time of the three players but made the biggest leap forward.  If all goes well for him, Arthur Staple reports that he could be back in the lineup by the end of the week or the start of the following week.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Vanek Is The Second Islander Person To Suggest An NHL Double Standard

If you recall, almost three years ago after the Islanders Penguins brawl game Islanders commentator Howie Rose was outspoken in his declarations that there was a double standard in the NHL.  What he meant by that is there is one set of rules for the elite teams and then a set of rules for everyone else.  Most pundits don't give any credence to that, however, it is a common belief among a lot of fans.

Well, following today's game Islanders forward Thomas Vanek became the second person associated with the Islanders organization to publicly call out the NHL in as many years.  Following the Islanders 4-3 shootout loss today, when talking about his overtime goal that was disallowed Vanek told media that was present, "I thought it was a terrible call...I don't know if it's who we are.  If that's Pitt or a top team, that's maybe a goal."

I am not pretending to be an expert but for the life of me I don't see anything resembling a kicking motion of any kind.  If anything, Vanek angled the puck in with his skate which you are allowed to do as long as you don't kick it.  Maybe the NHL needs to issue a statement to clarify what exactly they consider to be a distinct kicking motion.

It was one thing when there was someone like Howie Rose suggesting this.  Now, not only is it an active NHL player but it's a high profile player in Thomas Vanek suggesting that there is bias in the NHL.

I have been a huge fan of Vanek from the start.  However, this just makes me like him even more.  As Matt Saidman said on twitter, "...if Vanek wasn't an Islander before, he is now."

Isles Get Robbed In 4-3 Loss To Blues

This afternoon, the Islanders were robbed as they fell 4-3 to the Blues in a shootout.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Thomas Vanek's goal getting waived off in overtime was just mind boggling.  The league claimed that it was kicked in.  However, on the replays there is no evidence of a distinct kicking motion that the rule states is needed to make that call.  If anything, Vanek angled it in with his skate which you are allowed to do as long as you don't kick it.  After the game, Vanek was still fired up about the bad call telling media that were present, "I thought it was a terrible call...I don't know if it's who we are.  If that's Pitt or a top team, that's maybe a goal."  If you for some reason didn't love Vanek already, how could you not love him after that quote?

-Another solid game from the first line today.  It is really scary to think where we would be without them.

-Poulin had a so/so game.  While the goals he let in seemed like ones he probably should've been able to get.  He did make some unbelievable saves as well.

-Nice skill shown by the 4th line on Matt Martin's goal, good to see Martin starting to get on a little roll.

If this isn't the epitome of robbery I don't know what is!  Vanek's goal was clearly a good goal and for it to be waved off is just typical Islander luck.  For the team though, they can't let this linger and have to make sure to focus on Monday's game.

Next Game: Monday @ Home Vs Boston

Islanders Home Next Week To Save The Rangers/NHL Money?

photo by NYDailyNews

When it was announced that the Rangers would be the away team for both Stadium Series games it raised a lot of eyebrows since the games are in New York City and they play in New York City.  Many people thought it was a conspiracy because of the power of the Dolans to not take the home dates away from them. Some thought this was far fetched, however, a recent article from the New York Times suggests this could be the case.

To start with, the article states that Madison Square Garden has a tax exemption that is worth 17.3 million this year.  However, if the Rangers were to play a home game outside of MSG the exemption could be forfeited. 

Additionally, the NHL is required to pay the home teams of the Stadium Series game money to make up for the lost revenue of a home game.  According to the article, it is believed the NHL is saving one million or more dollars per game by having the Rangers be the away team rather then the home team. 

I know people don't like to believe conspiracy theories.  However, it would appear that in this case the NHL had millions of reasons to make the Rangers the away team for these games rather then the home team.

Hamonic Skates For the First Time Since Concussion

According to Arthur Staple, this morning defenseman Travis Hamonic skated for the first time since suffering a concussion on January 12th.

This is certainly a good sign as well all know how long it took for Visnovsky to finally get back on the ice while rehabbing his concussion.  What we need to hope for now is that after skating today that Hamonic will remain symptom free.

Pre Game: Blues @ Islanders

This afternoon, our Islanders continue their three game home stand with a contest against David Backes and the Blues.

The goalie match up today features Jaroslav Halak for the Blues.  Meanwhile, after giving up five goals to the Penguins the other night Kevin Poulin will be back in there today.

The Blues could have a big hole in their lineup this afternoon as star scorer Alexander Steen is doubtful to play because of a lower body injury.

The Islanders lineup will only have one change with Radek Martinek sitting this one out in favor of Matt Carkner.  The Islanders scratches today will feature Hamonic, Martinek and Boulton.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Isles Can't Overcome Disappearing Act In 6-4 Loss To Penguins

photo by zimbio

Tonight, in a hard fought game, our Islanders came up just short of yet another comeback as they fell to the rival Penguins by a score of 6-4.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-What some thought was impossible, finally happened tonight.  That being Josh Bailey finally put one to the back of the net.  This was Bailey's first goal since getting the game winner against these same Penguins on October 25th.  If this doesn't get Bailey going then I don't know what will.

-Poulin wasn't his best tonight, but he wasn't terrible either.  He did let in a softie which is becoming to frequent a thing for him.  However, he can only do so much when his defense doesn't show up on a given shift.  A prime example of this being the Olli Maatta goal to give the Penguins a 3-2 lead.  Just last week in Philly the team let Andrej Meszaros walk right in and snap one by Poulin.  So what happens tonight?  They let Maatta walk right in, make his move, and lift the puck past Poulin.  Fairly similar plays with the same outcome, will they start to catch on that maybe they actually want to play defense instead giving the player a free shot on net?  They haven't seemed to have good luck with their current strategy so maybe a change is in order?

-Rookie mistake on the fifth Penguins goal by Donovan.

-As usual the refs were inconsistent but what else is new with the Penguins?

-As we've seen in the last few years, you won't win consistently in the NHL by just playing 25 or 35 minutes of a 60 minute game.  We saw it again tonight as from the mid point of the first period til pretty much the mid point of the second period the Islanders for the most part weren't there.  They started to play better as the second period wound down and then played well in the third.  However, efforts like that won't cut it in this league especially when playing a team like the Penguins and they need to start to realize that.

"If only we had a defense!"  That is a phrase I found myself repeating a lot tonight.  Recently, we have been able to mask the immense struggles of our defense because our tendency for comebacks has resulted us winning almost as many games this month as we did between October and December combined.  However, tonight the "comeback kids" as some of named them just bit off more then they were able to chew.  That is in large part due to defensive struggles most notably on Maatta's goal which I went over above.  Lots of people always say that teams are constructed from the net out.  It seems as though the Islanders have went opposite of that strategy and built from the red line back and it is costing them and has done so all season and did in the playoffs last year as well.  Now it is up to management to give the team the help they need, and deserve! 

Next Game: Saturday 1PM Vs The Blues

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pre Game: Pens at Isles!

Tonight the Penguins take on our New York Islanders.  The Isles look to continue their recent hot play against the division rival.  Pittsburgh played last night, so maybe we can get to them hard and fast, unless we pull our usual comeback!

Same lineup tonight, hopefully Kevin Poulin can build off his strong performance against the Rangers.  It will be fun to watch the top two players in scoring go head to head tonight.  I'm hoping Tavares can close the gap some more resulting in a big Isles win.  Our defense always give me a scare, now especially against the high powered offense in Pittsburgh.  

Finally and always, Lets Go Islanders!  

Lubomir Visnovsky Cleared For Contact?

According to reports, Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky has been skating with the team without a non contact jersey on.

The fact that he is not wearing a non contact jersey would appear to mean that he has been cleared for contact which would be the next step in his rehab.  A recent article from Arthur Staple of Newsday suggested the defenseman could be back within the next two weeks.

Visnovsky has been out since October 19th after suffering a concussion in that game against the Hurricanes.

Being able to get Visnovsky back for the stretch run would be huge for this team.  Not only would he help stabilize the top six especially now without Travis Hamonic but he would do wonders for the power play as well.  A return from Visnovsky would also allow Andrew MacDonald's role to return to something that is better suited for him rather then being forced to be the Mr everything that he has been forced to be over the last couple months. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

NHL Revealed Premiers Tonight

Tonight, NHL Revealed which is a show that will track the nine teams competing in the NHL Stadium Series & Heritage Classic as well as the players when they go over to compete in the Olympics premiers at 11:00PM on the NBCSN.

For more information on the show and a full broadcast schedule click here.

On the surface, this appears to be a show similar to HBO's 24/7 that's done leading up to the winter classic.  So with that, I am absolutely intrigued to see this program tonight.

Happy Birthday Mike Bossy

photo by legendsofhockey

Today, NHL legend and Islanders Hall of Famer Mike Bossy is celebrating his 57th birthday.

During his hall of fame career, Bossy managed to put up 1126 points in just 752 games.  He is regarded in some circles as the best pure goal scorer in NHL history.  Bossy retired from the NHL finished in NHL career in 1987 because of injuries and just 4 years later was inducted to the NHL hall of fame in 1991.  In 2006 after being out of the game for over a decade Bossy was hired in a front office position by the Islanders and has been here ever since.  Last year, he was named VP of Corporate Sponsorship and Partnership Marketing.

We here at savetheisles would like to wish Bossy a very Happy Birthday and many more.

Isles Pull Off Yet Another Comeback In Win @ Rangers


(photo by zimbio)

Tonight, our Islanders pulled off yet another come from behind win.  This time, it was coming back from two separate two goal deficits to defeat the rival Rangers by a score of 5-3.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-I've said it many times, but Garth Snow absolutely has to resign Thomas Vanek.  Sure, that line may have it's defensive flaws but when they are the top three guys in scoring in the NHL since 12/17 they have some leeway.  Losing Vanek for anything short of blown away package would be a very bad loss for this team.

-John Tavares was absolutely on fire tonight!  It didn't matter which line you put him on, he just continued to get assists.

-Good to see McDonald and Matt Martin chip in with a couple goals.

-Poulin was pretty solid tonight, seems like the day of yesterday did some good for him.

-The defensive pairing of Donovan and de Haan struggled early on but managed to recover as the game went on.  It is encouraging to see the rookie tandem work through their issues and overcome them rather then be overcome by them.

-Frans Nielsen may have slowed down from his pace earlier this year but he is quietly having quite a solid season.  He tied his career high in goals at 17 with his empty net tally tonight.

At the end of one, most would say this game had disaster written all over it given the Islanders lack of defense exhibited in the first period.  However, for this years Islanders it was just another day at the office being down 2-0 then 2-1.  Somehow they yet again managed to pull off a comeback from two goals and pull out the win in regulation which is key for them going forward.  After struggling for as long as they did, they are putting up some fight now as they currently sit 5 points back of the last wild card spot held by the Blue Jackets.  If they can be at .500 at the Olympic break, it will be a very tense final six weeks on Long Island.

Next Game: Thursday @ Home Vs the Penguins

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pre Game: Isles @ Rangers

 photo by johnnyroadtrip

Tonight, our Islanders travel to NYC for their first of three meetings in the next ten days with the rival Rangers including next Wednesdays showdown at Yankee Stadium.

The goalie match up tonight features Kevin Poulin for the Islanders and Cam Talbot in for a sick Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers.

The Islanders lineup will look a bit different tonight as the enforcers are sitting this one out.  With them out of the lineup, Radek Martinek and Peter Regin will return to the lineup after being scratched for both games against the Flyers.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Isles Viewing Party Tomorrow!

Update: According to the Islanders official twitter, this has been canceled because of the bad conditions outside.

The bad weather won't be as bad if we get an Islander win.   Lets Go Isles! 

The Team of Mystery

The team of mystery, the team called the New York Islanders.  Where one period we can look like Stanley Cup contenders and the next, well look like a pure bottom feeder.  The team that gives every coach and fan the classic third period headache.  The team that plays far better behind then ahead, a pure mystery.

Again this afternoon behind 3-1, they come storming back absolutely dominating the Flyers in the third. Eventually edging the division rival out in a shootout.  This the same team that basically gave away the game in the third on Saturday to the very same Flyer team.  So what gives? 

Who's to blame for the lack of consistency?  The coaches, players or management?  Fans are left scratching their head, over and over.  Confidence is a broad word, but one that means everything to an Islander team.  A team where streaks are the norm, for the good or the bad.  A team who's resume includes some very huge wins, but also has some terrible inexcusable losses. 

So again, where's the answer.  The team of mystery is at it again.  So tommorow night do we wish to be down?  Crazy as it sounds, dumb as it sounds, is that what we need? 

Okposo Powers Isles Over Flyers In Shootout

 photo by zimbio

This afternoon, our New York Islanders defeated the division rival Flyers by a score of 4-3 in a shootout.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Great game from Okposo, he was on fire today!!

-For all the hate given to Andrew MacDonald which most is deserved, he saved the game today with that blocked shot in overtime.

-Carkner fared well in his fight with Rosehill in the first period.

-Bailey maybe struggling really bad but he somehow still puts up assists.

-Great game by Brock Nelson!  He has 5 goals in his last 8 games now, good to see him start settling in.

-Nilsson was so/so at best this afternoon but some of that can be attributed to not playing in any games in over two weeks.

-After getting dominated in the third on Saturday in Philly, it was good to see the Islanders give them a taste of their own medicine in the third period this afternoon.

After Saturdays loss, this game was key.  Going into the third it didn't look promising but like they have been doing for a little while now the Islanders found a way to get back in it and eventually get the win.  With this win they sit only five points behind Columbus for last playoff spot.

Next Game: Tomorrow Night @ MSG

Pre Game: Isles Return Home Vs Flyers

Today, the Islanders return home from their six game road trip to play host to Claude Giroux and the Flyers in the back end of their home and home with them.  This is also the last time the two teams will meet this season.

The goalie match up today features Ray Emery for the Flyers.  Meanwhile, after having a rough start the other night versus Philly Kevin Poulin will not start today and Anders Nilsson will get his first start since being recalled following Evgeni Nabokovs injury on January 6th.

The decision between Peter Regin and Eric Boulton will be a game time one, Newsday reports.  Beyond that though the lineup will be the same as it was in Saturdays loss to the Flyers.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Happy Birthday Thomas Vanek

 photo by cbssports

Today, Islanders star forward Thomas Vanek is celebrating his 30th birthday.

Since being acquired from Buffalo on October 27th Vanek has put up 33 points in 34 games.  He hasn't only done that though, since being acquired along with his line mates Kyle Okposo and John Tavares they have formed one of the most productive lines in the entire NHL only behind the first lines of Boston and Chicago.

We here at savetheisles would like to wish Vanek a very Happy Birthday and hope he is able to spend many more with us both here and in Brooklyn.

NHL News: John Tortorella Tries To Get Into Flames Dressing Room

These days, in the rare occurrence that you see a big line brawl in an NHL game it doesn't usually escalate into anything beside maybe a couple scrums or a fight or two.

Well, the game tonight in Vancouver between the Canucks and Flames was the exception.

After the game started with a 5-5 line brawl two seconds in that saw four guys on each team get ejected Vancouver coach John Tortorella could be seen at the end of his bench yelling over to the Calgary bench trying to engage their coach in argument.  Well Tortorella didn't just keep it on the ice tonight as after 20 minutes of play the coach tried to fight his way into the Flames dressing room to continue discussing things with the Flames coach.

I don't have huge issues with the line brawl that started the game.  Sure it shouldn't happen but sometimes it will.  However, I do have an issue with Torts here.  I think he looks ridiculous in this video and could definitely face some sort of fine or something from the league because this isn't how a coach should be acting and by acting this way he made the league look bad.

Islanders Injury Updates

Arthur Staple from Newsday published some injury updates for top Islander players tonight following the teams loss to the Flyers.

Following the news this week of getting back on the ice, defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky will take the next step of his rehab tomorrow by joining the team for practice in a non contact sweater.

Meanwhile, the news on Travis Hamonic isn't nearly as good.  At first it was thought Hamonic was sick but now he is being treated for a concussion and is out indefinitely.

Lastly, Evgeni Nabokov who is the closest of the three to returning isn't quite ready yet.  He has been on the ice recently though so he shouldn't be out much longer I would think.

Struggles In Their Own Zone Doom Isles In 6-4 Loss

Tonight, the Islanders ended what would've been a really good road trip on about as bad a note as they could've with a 6-4 loss to the division rival Flyers.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Taking a page from the book of earlier this year and many years passed the team just didn't show up in the third period.  They had no shots on net for more then half the period and only registered 4 by the time the period had ended.  Not only that but after the Flyers took the lead with around 4 minutes left you could tell watching the game they had no fight left and didn't want it anymore.

-This was Kevin Poulin's worst game in a while.  That first goal was a horrible one to give up and his positioning on the fifth goal was simply amateur hour.  I'm not going to get on him to much because of the defense he has in front of him but he has to be better then he was tonight.  There are no if's and's or but's about that.

-The third line was solid tonight, they had a lot of jump and contributed offensively.  There's something about Clutterbuck in those shorthanded situations.  I guess the coaches have realized the error of their ways not having him on the PK sooner.

-The team needs to think about trying to get Bailey to Bridgeport on a conditioning stint because being up here right now isn't doing to much for him.  If that doesn't work I would consider exposing him to waivers in order to send him down because as of now Bailey would have to become pretty much an entire new player to justify the contract he has and I am not optimistic of that happening.

-The first line continues to produce!  With all the negatives about this team it is nice to have a pretty consistent positive with this line.

After how the road trip had went, to end it like this was really discouraging.  With the largest disappointment being their effort in the third period tonight.  It was abysmal and resembled those teams that would be on the road to a top five pick from a couple years back and not one that is trying to battle back into the playoff race.  If the Islanders hope to make any noise down the stretch these efforts can't happen anymore!

Next Game: Monday @ Home Vs Philly

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Pre Game: Isles @ Flyers

 photo by NBA

Tonight, our Islanders look to finish their road trip on a high note as they travel to Philly to take on Claude Giroux and the Flyers.

The goalie match up tonight features Kevin Poulin for the Islanders and Steve Mason for the Flyers.  The Flyers signed Mason to a three year extension earlier today so it'll be interesting to see how Mason plays tonight.

The Islanders lineup will look a bit different tonight as the enforcers are suiting up for tonights game.  Eric Boulton will be in the lineup in place of Peter Regin.  Additionally, Matt Carkner will be in the lineup in place of Radek Martinek.

Marriott Next Door To The Coliseum Being Foreclosed On

photo by tripadvisor

According to a report in Newsday, lenders on the Marriott hotel located next to the Coliseum are seeking to foreclose on the hotel which is the largest of its kind on Long Island.  The report states that a court date for oral arguments in the case will be set next week.

The hotel has reportedly missed payments on a 103 million dollar loan it took out which led to this.  The value of the hotel has decreased by more than 50% since 2010, according to the Newsday piece.

Charles Wang the Islanders owner bought the Marriott in 2005 when he was involved with the Lighthouse Project to help the proposal.  During the Lighthouse Project he sold the hotel to his partner Scott Rechler.  However, after the Lighthouse failed Wang bought it back from Rechler when the two parted ways.

I am curious to see what happens with this if maybe Donald Monti or Bruce Ratner will purchase it so they don't have an extra person to deal with when it comes to developing the land.  The way I am reading the article suggests to me that Wang won't own the hotel for much longer.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Islanders Loan Kabanov To Sweden

According to reports, earlier this afternoon the Islanders announced that they loaned forward Kirill Kabanov to Modo of the Swedish Elite League for the rest of this season.

Kabanov was a highly skilled prospect in the 2010 draft whose stock fell because of a variety of off the ice issues.  The Islanders ended up rolling the dice on him with a third round pick that year.  As time passed it seemed as though that Kabanov had put some of the issues that plagued him as a younger guy behind him.  However, this year has been a rocky one for the 21 year old forward.  In 16 games this year for Bridgeport Kabanov has managed to put up just three goals.  In between those games was a stint in the ECHL with the Islanders affiliate the Stockton Thunder.

I was disappointed to hear this because I had become a real Kabanov fan after getting the opportunity to meet him many times last season.  With there only being one year left on his entry level deal and him spending the rest of the season overseas his future with the Islanders organization isn't very bright.

Nielsens Shootout Winner Powers Isles Over Lightning

 photo by ESPN

Last night, our Islanders rebounded off their tough loss Tuesday with a 2-1 shootout win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Great game by Kevin Poulin!  While he has been pretty solid in Nabokov's absence it is still a small sample size and I think more needs to be shown before people start penciling him in as a number one goalie of the future.

-Thomas Vanek continues to score, he needs to be signed right now!!

-Good to see Nielsen convert in the shootout after struggling a bit this year.

After Tuesday's loss, this was a must win game and in typical Islanders come from behind fashion they found a way to win.  While Tuesday's game was very disappointing having the ability on a tough road trip to go 5-1 which the Islanders will do if they win Saturday is something that should be applauded.

Next Game: Saturday 7PM @ Philly

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pre Game: Isles @ Lightning

 photo by wantickets

Tonight, looking to rebound for their tough loss Tuesday, our Islanders travel to Tampa Bay to take on Martin St Louis and the Lightning.

The goalie match up tonight features Kevin Poulin for the Islanders and Ben Bishop for the Lightning.

After sending down Ryan Strome yesterday, the Islanders lineup will look a bit different tonight.  Brock Nelson will take over the third line center role and Peter Regin will get back into the lineup on the left wing of Frans Nielsen and Josh Bailey.  With the open roster spot the demotion of Strome created, Radek Martinek was taken off IR and will get right into the lineup tonight with Matt Carkner sitting this one out.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Isles Send Down Ryan Strome

After last nights tough loss, Islanders fans woke up to a surprise this morning that the team was sending prized first round pick Ryan Strome back to Bridgeport.

Naturally, with the surprise fans were upset questioning why the team was making a move like this given the alternatives for the lineup.  However, it was later found out that this wasn't an Islanders move per-say but a move made because of odd NHL regulations.

Prior to the season, according to Newsday, the NHL sent a memo to all teams stating that any player who played 15 of 20 in the NHL prior to the Olympic break wouldn't be able to be sent down to the AHL during the break.

Isles Road Streak Snapped At 7

Tonight, our Islanders had their road win streak snapped at 7 with a 4-2 loss to the Panthers.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Another point for Calvin de Haan tonight.  Who would've thought that where we sit now on defense with Hamonic shaken up he is our most reliable guy back there.  Hopefully, he is able to keep it going because he has wrote a solid script for himself thus far.

-On the other end of the spectrum Andrew MacDonald's struggles continue.  While he did play over 29 minutes tonight with the absence of Hamonic and the addition of Carkner to the lineup he had a less then stellar game.  That has become a regular occurrence in his contract year this season.  With the salary he is probably going to demand if the Islanders fail to get back into it I would be very surprised if MacDonald finishes the season part of this team.

-Nice pass by Nielsen to set up Vanek for his goal.

-Great game by the 4th line tonight!  There weren't many bright spots about tonight's game but their play was one of the few.

-It's tough to get on Kevin Poulin for the game tonight because the team as a hole didn't show up for the better part of the first 40 minutes and Poulin can only do so much by himself.

Well the team's bubble was bound to burst and boy did that happen tonight.  Through two periods this game was one of the worst the team has played in over a month.  Like Butch Goring said during the broadcast on multiple occasions, they can only find so many ways to win after being down.  They need to shake this game off and get ready for the end of the trip in Tampa and Philly later this week.

Next Game: Thursday 7:30 @ Tampa Bay

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pre Game: Isles @ Panthers

 photo by SunSentinel

Tonight, our Islanders travel to Sunrise looking to keep their hot streak going as they take on Tim Thomas and the Panthers.  With a win tonight the Islanders would match their longest road winning streak in team history at 8 games which is something they did two times during the early 80's dynasty years.

The goalie match up tonight features Kevin Poulin for the Islanders and "former Islander" Tim Thomas in net for the Panthers.

The Islanders will have a gaping hole on defense tonight as they will be without Travis Hamonic.  Due to dehydration Hamonic was unable to finish Sundays game in Dallas and the report now from Newsday is that he is suffering from an upper body injury.  Matt Carkner will be in the lineup tonight taking Hamonic's spot.  Beyond that, the lineup will be the same as Sunday's victory over the Stars though.

Isles Open Up Contract Talks With Andrew MacDonald

 photo by NHLPA

According to a report from ESPN, the Islanders have opened preliminary talks with Andrew MacDonald regarding a new contract.

Recently, Arthur Staple from Newsday has compared Andrew MacDonald to the situation defenseman Matt Carle was in 2 years ago.  Carle ended up signing a 6 year 33 million dollar contract with the Lightning.  Staple thinks MacDonald will get 5 years/25 pretty easily and I can't say I disagree.

These are largely for each side to get an idea where the other one is.  If the Islanders fail to get back into contention I would not be surprised to see MacDonald moved at the trading deadline because I don't expect him to return next season.

Isles Stadium Series Jersey Will Be Worn Beyond Yankee Stadium

 photo by yahoo

According to, the Islanders are among the teams who asked the NHL if they could wear their Stadium Series jersey at some home games throughout the season.  The requests are expected to be granted.  If you recall recently, Chris Botta said that we should expect to see the Stadium Series logo or something similar to it more frequently in the coming seasons.

On nights when they would normally wear the black jersey I could see them wearing this one instead which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.  

Visnovsky Hits The Ice

According to Newsday, yesterday Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky took his first spin on the ice since being injured in October.

Last week, Visnvosky was cleared for off ice workouts so seeing him progress to getting on the ice is encouraging.

I'm hopeful that if all goes well that we will see Visnovsky back in the Islanders lineup coming out of the Olympic break or soon after.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Tavares Late Goal Gives Isles 7th Straight Road Victory

 photo by CCMHockey

Last night, our New York Islanders continued their dominance on the road with a 4-2 come from behind win against the Dallas Stars.  This victory marked the teams 7th straight road win which is something they hadn't done in 33 years.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Calvin de Haan is fitting in better and better every day.  That was a really nice pass by him to set up Tavares for the winner.

-Radioman Chris King has fit in quite well with Butch Goring on TV in Howie/Jiggs absence.

-What can you say about Kyle Okposo?  We are just over half way through the season and he is approaching his career high in goals, assists and points.  He has turned up his play like we have been begging him to for a couple years and its really nice to be able to see it night in and night out.

-Yet another solid start by Kevin Poulin!  He has filled in just fine in Evgeni Nabokov's absence.

-Josh Bailey continues to disappoint out there.  I wonder how much more time they are going to give him in the top 6 before they give someone else a chance there.

Once again this team found a way to win after being down after 20 minutes.  I don't know what it is but this team seemingly can't lose right now.  If they can keep this up things will be very interesting heading into and coming out of the Olympic break.

Next Game: Tomorrow 7:30 @ The Panthers

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Pre Game: Isles Look To Do Something They Haven't Done In 33 Years

 photo by prweb

Tonight, the Islanders travel to Dallas for a rematch with the Dallas Stars.  The Islanders defeated the Stars by a score of 7-3 6 days ago at the Coliseum so expect Dallas to come out with revenge on their minds.  Tonight the Islanders also look to do something they haven't done in 33 years, that is win their 7th straight on the road.

The goalie match up tonight features Kevin Poulin for the Islanders and probably Kari Lehtonen for the Stars.

The Islanders lineup will be the same as it was in Fridays come from behind win over Colorado.  That means, Matt Carkner, Eric Boulton and Peter Regin will serve as the teams healthy scratches again tonight.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Grabner's OT Winner Gives Isles 6th Straight Road Win

 photo by robthehockeyguy

Tonight, our Islanders continued their stretch of resurgent road play by defeating the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 2-1 in overtime on a goal by Islanders forward Michael Grabner.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-After the just awful stretch Grabner had its nice to see him finally starting to come around.  For Grabner's as well as the teams sake I hope this continues.

-While Grabner is beginning to find his game again, someone who is continuing to fail out there is Josh Bailey.  I don't know what it is with him but he was invisible for a majority of tonight's game.

-Someone who is beginning to break onto the scene is Brock Nelson.  He had a great individual effort tonight on what led to his second goal in as many games.  He continues to get fully comfortable at this level.

-The pairing on Donovan and Hickey had their struggles tonight.  Matt Donovan got burned a bit on the lone Colorado goal tonight.  However, with MacKinnon's speed I am not sure there is much he could've done.

-Nice to get a win when the first line doesn't register a point.

This was the first time we won this year when we didn't register at least three goals.  If this is a sign of the tide of the season changing it couldn't have come soon enough for the Islanders as they look to battle back into the playoff picture.

Next Game: Sunday 6PM @ Dallas

Friday, January 10, 2014

Pre Game: Isles @ Avalanche

 photo by wikimedia

Tonight, our Islanders travel to Colorado to take on Matt Duchene and the Avalanche as their 6 game road trip continues.

The goalie match up tonight features Kevin Poulin for the Islanders and Semyon Varlamov for the Avalanche.

There will be one notable omission from the Avalanche lineup tonight as former Islander Pa Parenteau will not dress for Colorado tonight.  He is sidelined for 4-6 weeks with an injury.  This would've been Parenteau's first game against the Islanders since leaving them following the 11/12 season.

The Islanders lineup will be a bit different tonight as Matt Carkner and Eric Boulton are sitting this one out.  That means the two of them will join Peter Regin as the teams healthy scratches tonight.  Taking their spots in the lineup will be Matt Donovan who has only played in one game since being recalled from Bridgeport and Colin McDonald.

Both Travis Hamonic and Thomas Vanek will be in the lineup tonight after being shaken up at practice yesterday.

Isles Sign Kenny Reiter To 2 Way Deal

According to reports, the Islanders have signed goalie Kenny Reiter to a two way contract.

This contract allows the Islanders to call up Reiter should Kevin Poulin or Anders Nilsson get injured.  It also provides for a different pay scale if Reiter is in the AHL or NHL.

Reiter has spent parts of the last three seasons in Bridgeport.  This season for the Tigers in 15 starts, Reiter has a 2.94 GAA and a .895 save percentage.  Not staggering numbers to say the least.  However, they are better then Parker Milner's who is serving as the backup for the Tigers with Anders Nilsson on Long Island.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Visnovsky Cleared For Off Ice Workouts?

photo by cbssports

Based off a tweet from Matt Saidman of LIB Magazine, it appears as though Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky has been cleared for off ice workouts.  This is the first real positive development for Visnovsky who has been working to come back from a concussion sustained against the Carolina Hurricanes in a game October 19th.
Don't get your hopes up to quick though because in a follow up tweet Saidman says that there is still a long way to go before he is back.

Getting Visnovsky back down the stretch  which is the best case scenario in my mind as of now would be huge for the team as they push for a second consecutive playoff birth.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Isles Start Road Trip With 5-3 Victory Over Toronto

 photo by hockeysfuture

Last night, our Islanders began their 6 game road trip on a good note defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 5-3.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Congrats to Calvin de Haan on his first NHL goal.  He has been a welcomed surprise this year with his for the most sound defensive play.  If this continues, it would appear as though he will have a spot on the Islanders blue line for many years assuming he can stay healthy.

-Another power play goal for the team tonight gives them 9 in the last 5 games which is the most in the NHL in that time frame.  Who thought we would be saying that?

-The first line continues to produce!  Coming into the game last night, they had 72 points in the last 22 games.  Last night, Kyle Okposo managed to get a goal in his return to the lineup.  Meanwhile, Thomas Vanek managed to get two assists bringing his point streak to 10 games which is the longest of his career.  After his five point game on Monday, John Tavares put up another 3 assists last night giving his 16 points in his last 7 games.  He is now tied with Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks for second in the NHL in points.

-Kevin Poulin gave the team a chance to win which is all you can ask from him.

You couldn't have asked for a better way to start the trip then a win like this.  Especially after Monday's big win, a win in this game was crucial to attempt to build momentum.  If the Islanders are able to put a little stretch together here, things could get interesting coming out of the Olympic break.

Next Game: Friday 9PM @ Colorado

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pre Game: Isles @ Leafs

 photo by hockeyarenas

Tonight, our Islanders begin a 6 game road trip as they travel to Toronto to take on Phil Kessel and the Maple Leafs.

The goalie match up tonight features Kevin Poulin for the Islanders after Evgeni Nabokov was hurt in last nights game.  Meanwhile, Jonthan Bernier will get the start between the pipes for the Leafs.

The Leafs have a new addition on defense as they acquired Tim Gleason from Carolina last week in exchange for John Michael Liles and a prospect.  Look out for Gleasons physical game in tonight's contest.

The Islanders lineup tonight right now is uncertain as Arthur Staple reports that Jack Capuano says it will be a game time decision.  So make sure you keep an eye on Staples twitter as well as the Islanders official twitter so you can see when the lineup is announced.

Isles/Vanek Talking Contract?

According to a recent interview with Thomas Vanek on, it appears as though he and the Islanders have began talking about a new contract to keep the star forward with the team past this season.

Since being acquired from Buffalo on October 27th, Vanek has managed to put up 27 points in 28 games while becoming part of one of the more dominant lines in hockey alongside John Tavares and Kyle Okposo.

I have said it before but I will say it again, the Islanders absolutely must find a way to get him signed up for the foreseeable future.  Based on contracts handed out around the league I feel as though an 8 year offer worth between 7 and 8 million is fair for Vanek.  The Islanders because Vanek is ours are the only team that is able to offer Vanek an 8th year.  As a free agent Vanek will only be to get 7 year offers in accordance with the new CBA.

John Tavares Makes Team Canada

This morning, the players who were named to team Canada for the Olympics in Sochi next month were announced.

Among the players selected was Islanders star forward John Tavares.  Tavares right now sits at third in the NHL in points with 51 in 43 games only behind Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks and Sidney Crosby of the Penguins.

Other Islanders expected to be named to Olympic rosters include Thomas Vanek and Michael Grabner for team Austria.  If not for his injury last night, Evgeni Nabokov would've been named to team Russia.  However, now his injury makes that unlikely.

Isles Place Nabokov On IR/Recall Nilsson

Last night, during the first period Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov had to leave with a lower body injury.

The injury was sustained after Nabokov went down to make a save and had issues getting back up.  He attempted to say in but was eventually pulled in favor of Kevin Poulin.

Before the game ended last night Nabokov was already put on IR and Anders Nilsson was recalled from Bridgeport on an emergency basis.  It is unclear as of now how much time Nabokov is expected to miss.

Isles Defeat Stars In Blowout Fashion

 photo by ESPN

 Last night, our Islanders ended their three game home stand with a blowout 7-3 win over the Dallas Stars.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Congrats to Ryan Strome on his first NHL goal.  With the way he had been playing over the last few games you knew it would happen sooner or later so it was great for him to get it out of the way.

-During our huge nearly two month losing streak some people criticized John Tavares for not taking a game over and winning it like a Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin would.  Well, last night that happened as the Islanders captain netted a hat-trick and added 2 assists on the way to a five point night and a 7-3 win for his team.

-Thomas Vanek continues to roll with another two assists including one of his patented behind the back passes to set up Tavares first goal.  Vanek now has 14 points (5 goals, 9 assists) in his last 9 games.  I know I have said it before but it would be a very bad loss if the Islanders are unable to keep Vanek beyond this season.

-Good to see Brock Nelson put one in the net after going a while without a goal.

-The defense had a pretty sound game limiting Dallas shots on goal.

-Good to see the power play get another three goals after getting a couple last week to.  Hopefully, this is the start of something for them.

-After settling in replacing Nabokov, Kevin Poulin seemed pretty comfortable in net which is encouraging.

Tonight, the team got something they had been struggling with getting recently and that is secondary scoring.  If this can continue on even a semi consistent basis the Islanders should be able to put some more much needed wins up as they try to get back in the playoff race.

Next Game: Tonight 7:00PM @ Toronto

 photo by ESPN

Monday, January 6, 2014

Pre Game: Stars @ Islanders

Tonight, our Islanders finish their three game home stand playing host to Jamie Benn and the Dallas Stars.

The goalie match up tonight features Kari Lehtonen for the Stars and Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders.

The Islanders lineup will be a little different tonight as Josh Bailey makes his return to the lineup as well as Matt Donovan who returns for his second stint with the Islanders.  Matt Carkner will be a healthy scratch tonight to make room for Donovan in the lineup.  The status of Kyle Okposo is a game time decision as his wife is about to give birth.  If he is able to go it is unclear who will sit out for Okposo or if Bailey will continue being a scratch.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Isles Fall 3-2 To Division Foes

Tonight, our Islanders had their three game winning streak snapped at the hands of Eric Staal and the Hurricanes as they fell by a score of 3-2.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Our defense which had been much better recently really betrayed us tonight.  Most notably on the first two Carolina goals.  The first one was a brutal giveaway by MacDonald whose struggles continue this year.  In his latest Newsday piece Arthur Staple made a comparison to Matt Carle when speaking about MacDonald who is in his contract year.  Carle managed to get a 6 year deal worth 33 million from Tampa Bay in the summer of 2012.  If MacDonalds demands are up there the Islanders should wish him well and send him on his way because he isn't a high enough level of player to warrant such a high salary.  The second Hurricane goal was just a complete breakdown.  Even with his struggles this year leaving Jordan Staal in the slot between the hash marks all by himself isn't a good idea and the Islanders learned that the hard way tonight.

-Tavares and Vanek combined for one of the Islanders prettier goals this season in the second period.  It was clear from the outset that their line along with Kyle Okposo really came to play tonight as they have for a while now.

-It's encouraging to see Vanek continuing to put up points.  Hopefully this continues, I think it would be a huge mistake to not retain Vanek going forward past this season.  Our first line is one of the better first lines we have had in a long time and we should try and build up the few strengths as a team we have not get rid of them.

-Given the defensive woes tonight Nabokov had a pretty solid outing once again.  I don't know what happened to him while he was out with his injury but he is like a hole new player.

Well, as I said on twitter, the results from this game were disappointing yet predictable on so many levels.  On one hand the Islanders are hot and are heading into a game with a divisional rival that is beatable and they will have a big home crowd behind them trying to will them to victory.  On the other hand, the Islanders have struggled against Carolina for the better part of two years now and for whatever reason the Islanders are notorious for playing less then stellar games in front of big home crowds.  As I said after the win against the Blackhawks the other night, will the real New York Islanders please stand up?

Next Game: Monday @ Home Vs Dallas

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Pre Game: Canes @ Islanders

Tonight, our Islanders prepare to play host to Eric Staal and the Carolina Hurricanes as their three game home stand continues.

The goalie match up tonight features Anton Khudobin for the Hurricanes and Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders.  If you recall, over the summer Khudobin was a target by some fans to be the Islanders backup goalie.

The Hurricanes lineup will be a little bit different tonight as longtime stalwart on defense Tim Gleason was traded a couple days ago to Toronto in exchange for John Michael Liles and a prospect.

The Islanders lineup will be the same as it was Thursday in their win over Chicago.  That means Josh Bailey, Eric Boulton, and Matt Donovan will serve as the teams healthy scratches.  Given Capuano's history with the lineup, I suspect we will see this one until we start losing.

Happy Birthday Brian Strait

 photo by ESPN

Today, Islanders defenseman Brian Strait is turning 26 years old.

The Islanders claimed Strait from the division rival Penguins before last seasons lockout shortened season.  Early on in his Islanders career they were so impressed with his play that they gave him a 3 year contract extension.  This season, since returning from his injury, Strait has been really big for the Islanders defense which struggled pretty bad without him.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Howie And Butch Comment On Okposo Snub

Since the US Mens Olympic team was announced yesterday confirming the snub of Islanders forward Kyle Okposo angry reactions ran rampant on various social media platforms.  Perhaps nobody had more colorful comments regarding the snub then Islanders broadcasters Butch Goring and Howie Rose.
Below are Howie's comments from the pre game show tonight.

While I think there is something to the conspiracy theory Howie speaks of, I also think it is very overblown by fans.  

I personally am disappointed that he didn't make the team but not overly surprised.  Okposo has finally developed into the player we all thought he could be but we are also very quick to forget that half of the fan base wanted him traded early last season when he was in one of his typical in season swoons.  What I found more frustrating then the snub was that he wasn't ever really given any serious consideration.  Scott Burnside in his piece for ESPN has quotes that say the reasoning for that is they don't think he is built for the bigger ice surface.  However, Okposo played on a surface like that in college so I am not sure that excuse has any merit.  So, maybe there is something to Howie's theory.